'The Disconnect'- Heart of a Coward / Turned Up Louder
It has been four years since Heart of a Coward released their highly acclaimed third album 'Deliverance', from which there was a lot of talk of the metalcore five-piece using that album as a springboard to greater successes for the band. The following years however, proved to be far more turbulent than anticipated, mostly due to the departure of seminal vocalist Jamie Graham in March 2017, whose colossal vocals contributed greatly to the band's sound and success. Replacing Graham was no easy task, but after a year of radio silence, the band announced the addition of No Consequence vocalist Kaan Tasan, along with a new single 'Collapse', comeback tour and news of a new album in the works.
That new album is entitled 'The Disconnect' and features 'Collapse' in addition to nine other songs. Reaction to the lead single was mixed across Heart of a Coward's fanbase. As talented a singer as Tasan undoubtedly is, and despite coming from a band who are also widely respected in the UK Tech-Metal scene, the difference in vocal styles between him and Graham is noticeable and led to some negative reactions leading up to the new album. Ultimately, this difference can easily be overstated and at any rate, 'Collapse' should be judged on its own merits, particularly when the band themselves made it clear that they were not looking for a carbon-copy of Graham. And the simple fact is that it is an excellent song, which is every bit as aggressive and powerful as anything the band has done before.
The album opens with the other single the band decided to release ahead of the album, 'Drown In Ruin'. It makes for an explosive start, with Heart of a Coward seemingly intent on returning to what they do best. The song features familiar chugging riffs and brutal beats throughout the verse, however the chorus takes a turn for the more melodic and shows the other side to Tasan's vocals. The album then seemlessly transitions into the faster-paced 'Ritual', which delivers a frantic three and a half minutes which again is punctuated by more soaring choruses than we are generally used to. Further songs of a similar ilk follow throughout the rest of the album, such as 'Culture of Lies', 'In The Wake' and 'Return to Dust'.
The flip-side to this is that other tracks on the album, such as 'Suffocate' and 'Senseless' still retain the crushing brutality that Heart of a Coward made their name on in their previous albums, meaning that the end result is as mixed as the response to 'The Disconnect' will undoubtedly be. It is worth pointing out however, that points of agreement can be found in the fact that the musicianship from the band remains as high as ever, and the flow of the album is especially well-crafted. For those who have not yet encountered Heart of a Coward, 'The Disconnect' is probably the best album to start with; however it is easy to see why longer-term fans may consider it their weakest album. Although every song on the album is high energy and great technically, it feels as though with the slight change in the overall sound, the band has forgone what made them so exciting for something a little more generic. Nevertheless, 'The Disconnect' is still an incredibly solid output from the band, and will certainly serve to get them back on track after four long years away.
'The Disconnect' is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.
Check out the video for the band's latest single, 'Drown in Ruin', below:
Heart of a Coward are just finishing up a UK tour in support of 'The Disconnect's release, and are playing the final night tonight at The Haunt in Brighton- final tickets are available here: